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New from the archives: three fresh posts (Recipes: albornia de chayote, mushroom barley soup, sweet couscous with pistachios)

Albornia de chayote

Since early summer, I've been wandering through the archives, making a few dishes each month from the first two years of The Perfect Pantry, in the days before I photographed the food I cooked.

I'm really having fun cooking some of my favorite dishes again, with some of my favorite pantry ingredients, and while I'm back in the archives, I'm also updating the recipes and links.

This month's posts feature eggs, barley and instant couscous, and the recipes are ones you might be able to incorporate into the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend of eating and entertaining.

In our family, Thanksgiving runs from Tuesday until Sunday, so in addition to the actual holiday meal, there are breakfasts and lunches to think about for the week. Albornia de chayote (top photo), a Puerto Rican dish I learned from a woman I met in Boston's South End many years ago, makes an easy and unusual vegetable-filled alternative to plain old scrambled eggs. And, of course, there are always eggs in the refrigerator!

Mushroom barley soup

For lunch for a crowd, try this mushroom barley soup. Barley keeps in the pantry for a long time, and this healthy and hearty soup can be made far ahead and frozen.

Sweet couscous

When you don't have time to cook far ahead, instant couscous always comes to the rescue. In this sweet couscous with pistachios (or not with pistachios, as you can see in the photograph), warm spices and tart dried fruits combine with crunchy nuts for a side dish that isn't really sweet at all. And you probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry already.


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Very nice! I make cous cous all the time but I never use nuts. I will have to try this dish.

The sweet potato scrambled egg (albornia de chayote) looks gorgeous. Very happy you are going through your recipes for us. :)

I LOVE this couscous recipe and I loved that bit of trivia about the chicken earlobes!!!

Me encanta..the albornia de chayote. Looks delicious.

Un saludo,

Gourmet, all kinds of nuts are great with couscous. You could make this dish with pine nuts, too.

Carol, like all dishes with instant couscous, this one is quick and easy. You can use sugar substitute instead of real sugar, too.

Mari, I love this egg dish. Leftovers are pretty good, too, though I always add a bit more sofrito to bump up the flavor on the second day.

I love mushroom and barley soup, and yours looks like a great one! I like the chicken/beef stock mix, especially.

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